Tags: Donald Trump | Russia Probe | republicans | impeachment | rush to judgment | due process

Republicans Fire Back on Impeachment: 'Facts Be Damned'

kevin mccarthy points with his left hand and speaks to reporters
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, D-Calif. 

By    |   Tuesday, 24 September 2019 07:31 PM

Republicans reacted swiftly and bitterly Tuesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump for allegedly asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declaring "facts be damned."

"Democrats are insisting this is their moment to impeach President Trump," the California Republican told reporters. "Speaker Pelosi's decree changes nothing."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., bashed Pelosi's announcement as a "rush to judgment" demonstrating that Democrats will "descend even deeper into their obsession with re-litigating 2016."

"Speaker Pelosi's much-publicized efforts to restrain her far-left conference have finally crumbled," McConnell said. "House Democrats cannot help themselves."

Pelosi said the House would open a formal impeachment inquiry of President Trump, arguing that he had violated his oath of office and obligations under the Constitution.

"The president must be held accountable," she told reporters. "No one is above the law."

Pelosi said six committees will report to her on their findings related to Trump's actions while in office under the umbrella of a formal inquiry.

President Trump, who said Tuesday that he would release the full transcript of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday, immediately fired back on Twitter: "PRESIDENTIAL HARRASSMENT!"

Many Republicans echoed McConnell on Pelosi caving in to far-left, progressive Democrats.

The speaker has "finally succumbed to unrelenting pressure from the Socialist wing of the Democrat Party," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted.

"Democrats have been trying to impeach the president since the beginning of this Congress," he said in a three-post Twitter rant, later adding: "This was never about Russian collusion or Ukrainian prosecutions.

"It is all about undoing the 2016 election and the will of the American people," Jordan tweeted.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, one of the panels involved in the probe, ripped Pelosi's decision as "pandering to progressive base. Constitution deserves better."

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, tweeted: "You can't make it up."

"So we are all clear what's happening: House Democrats are supposedly beginning an impeachment inquiry, and building it on an anonymous second-hand complaint they haven't seen, which describes a call transcript that they haven't read," he said.

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel denounced the Democratic move as "a political vendetta from the start."

"Since before he was even sworn in, far-left Democrats have plotted to impeach @realDonaldTrump," she said on Twitter.

"They didn’t get what they wanted from their Russia collusion delusion," she continued. "Now this."

McDaniel later tweeted that the whistleblower on the original complaint, who has not been identified, reportedly hired lawyers with ties to Democrats Hillary Clinton and Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, N.Y.

"Give me a break," she said.

But Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said Pelosi's announcement amounted to very little, since the House Judiciary Committee has been conducting its own probe since April.

"I'm not sure what the speaker has done today," Kennedy told MSNBC. "All I heard the speaker say today was that the impeachment investigation continues.

"She didn't say it's beginning," he added. "If she's talking about bringing articles of impeachment, that's very newsworthy.

"To say that the investigation continues, I get that it's news," Kennedy said, "but I don't think it's as newsworthy as some have argued."

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, said that "Speaker Pelosi and the House Democrats have abdicated their duty to the Constitution and to the American people by launching a partisan impeachment inquiry into the president."

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., accused Democrats of being less concerned about the nation's spiraling debt than impeaching the president, tweeting "it's still growing" and including the most recent debt amount: $22.61 trillion.

Lambasting Pelosi for opening an investigation without seeing the whistleblower complaint or the Trump transcript was central to other Republican attacks.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., tweeted: "Democrats have launched an impeachment inquiry based on a whistle-blower's second-hand account of a phone call, but couldn't bother to wait for the actual transcript of the call itself."

Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., poked that Pelosi's "red line" was "a whistleblower complaint (the report on which nobody has seen) expressing second-hand concerns about a phone call between President Trump and a foreign leader (the transcript of which nobody has read)."

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., praised Trump for his "unprecedented act of transparency" in pledging to release the transcript but said of Democrats: "I only wish they'd get the facts before jumping to a conclusion, while dedicating a fraction of the energy to improving the lives of Arkansans."

His colleague, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Democrats were "beating the impeachment drum and cranking up the outrage machine."

Tim Murtaugh, communications director for Trump's 2020 campaign, said Democrats were "trying to turn a Joe Biden scandal into a Donald Trump scandal.

"For almost three years, they've wanted to overturn the legitimate results of the 2016 election," he tweeted. "At first, they thought the Russia Hoax was their answer, but that predictably fell apart."

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, which also is involved in the investigation, tweeted that Democrats "have a simple message for the American people: You don't matter.

"Democrats are only creating a constitutional crisis for pure political gain."

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After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced a formal impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, Republicans reacted swiftly and bitterly Tuesday, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declaring "facts be damned."
republicans, impeachment, rush to judgment, due process
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 07:31 PM
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